We arrived half an hour before the house and gardens were officially open so I, quite literally, had the estate to myself - not even a volunteer in sight let alone a member of the public. What an incredible feeling to be able to wander through the gardens in the sunshine in high summer and have it all to myself. Sheer joy.
I started off in the most fabulous wild flower meadow I have ever seen. I am so sorry that none of my photos convey the glory of this area to you. You will simply have to imagine standing waist deep in flowers either side of you on a fairly narrowly mowed path through the centre of a vast field. Flower upon flower each seeming better than the one before.
It seemed impossible to top this experience but it was maybe possible to to match it.
Adjacent to the wild flower meadow is a lovely orchard with hundreds of wonderfully espaliered trees surrounding trees in grass, dotted with bee hives. The clean lines and simplicity of all this brought me down to earth a little.
I wandered from there through Charlotte's garden which offers an even more serene landscape after all that giddiness and is used by me as my route to a garden I have always loved - the Italian Garden
This way to the Italian Garden passes the wonderful Conservatory which was only renewed in 2011 so it is looking very sharp right now.
You then arrive sort of sideways on at the Italian Garden and only when you walk to its centre and front do you grasp its magnitude. This garden is a large formal parterre centered on the back of the house.
It drops down a couple of levels from the house, each level as interesting as the one above, finally arriving at the fountain
and the incredible view across the estate.
Triton flanked by the wonderful symmetrical beds - in perfect harmony
Time was nearly up so I wandered back to the house to meet my companions having only just touched on the vast acres of gardens and glasshouses that you can visit at Tatton. I did do a quick check of its wonderful vegetable garden - a real hive of production - no messing about in here - serious vegetable growing underway on a vast scale.
If you ever can get to Tatton Hall and gardens I recommend you do so. There is so much to see I would give it at least half a day and if you are lucky enough to have a lovely sunny day and if you are fit enough you can easily spend a whole day there.
(The house is not open on Mondays) Here is a link to times and fees as they are a bit complicated unless you are a member of the National Trust and then it is free. Click here: Opening Times and Fees
Google them to read up about all the gardens I haven't mentioned like their world famous Japanese Garden.
Click here for more photos: Tatton Park.